Beth Daley & the Trouble with “Prevention”

Originally posted to the MassachusettsLyme mailing list on Yahoo Groups.


Not wishing to beat a dead horse, I’ve revised my (personal) opinion of the Beth Daley article (series) in the Boston Globe.


No other way to look at it.

This is part of the papering over of the disaster. Here on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass General has committed to funding $50,000 a year for five years a project to unify the Departments of Health (there’s one different department, give or take, for each of the different towns here) around massages of LYME PREVENTION. They’ve been doing some good things, but …

I’m all for families getting information about prevention and messages of prevention are, net, helpful. We have a lot of prevention information on our website at the Lyme Center of Martha’s Vineyard and even link to some of the Dept of Health’s new stuff — the items that aren’t too full of mistakes and misstatements. However, I believe this financial campaign by Mass General (which owns & operates the Vineyard Hospital) throws the currently ill people under the bus. Funding should prioritize TREATEMENT!

Moreover, I feel that funding a PREVENTION campaign disingenuously furthers the disinformation around LYME when, through omission, it reinforces by implication the old lie that Chronic Lyme does not exist.

The trouble with prevention messaging in an environment that is REINFORCED to be UNAWARE of Chronic Lyme is that for the people listening, there is nothing at stake to motivate them to take the costly, time-consuming and potentially toxic measures on-board in their daily habits. Such measures classically fall on Massachusetts-Mom — who’s already possibly cooking, holding one or more jobs and trying to figure out what gluten-free means while reducing Dorritos-consumption and managing the vitamin desk — even while no one knows they have an incipient debilitating infection growing in their body which makes each regressive foot-step shorter than the last.

If I am not aware of Chronic Lyme, then I am going to continue to let the dog sleep on the bed with me. I am callous to the information about tick awareness, tick removal, tick-tube placement, or any of the other useful and highly beneficial entomological know-how about strains, cycles, vectors, mice, deer, nymphs and the Month of May. This information goes by me like water off a duck if I have no FEAR of the inevitable disability, school-interruptions, career dysfunction and bankruptcy awaiting me.

Funding a PREVENTION messaging campaign needs to be viewed in the same immoral light as a distraction from the colossal injustice being perpetuated by Mass General and the rigid Massachusetts Medical Establishment and viewed in the same realistic light as the disingenuous reputation re-building of Dr Steere which is certainly the object of the Daley article in the Globe.

Personally, I am relieved that The New Yorker brings us a little — even just a little — closer to the terrible things we know which are being knowingly diverted through a classic variety of strategies and tactics from the public’s attention.

The Lyme Wars” | The New Yorker | by Michael Specter | July 1, 2013\

I’ll be positive for the rest of the week. Promise.

Blessings to you all!

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